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A clock displaying the emblem of the Welfare Party.
The party slogan translates as "Justice is our goal."

The Welfare Party (Refah Partisi, RP) was a Islamist political party in Turkeymarker. It was founded by Ahmed Tekdal in Ankaramarker in 1983 as heir to two earlier parties, Milli Nizam Partisi (National Order Party, MNP) and Milli Selamet Partisi (National Salvation Party, MSP), which were banned from politics. The RP participated in mayoral elections at that time and they won in three cities- Konyamarker, Şanlıurfamarker, and Vanmarker. Their vote percentage was approximately 5%. Their popular vote increased over the years until they became the largest party under Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan in 1996. The coalition government of Erbakan was forced out of power by the Turkish military in 1997, due to being suspected of having an Islamist agenda.

In 1998 the Welfare Party was ban for violating the principle of secularism in the constitution.. The ban was upheld by the European Court of Human Rightsmarker (ECHR) on February 13, 2003. The ECHR's decision was criticized by Human Rights Watch for lack of consistency, as the ECHR had refused disbanding of other parties in several occasions.


  1. [1]
  2. Turkey: Party Case Shows Need for Reform - Ruling Party Narrowly Escapes Court Ban, Human Rights Watch, 31 July 2008

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